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In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the

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In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 24 Jul 2018, 18:58
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GMAT® Official Guide 2019

Practice Question
Question No.:
Online test bank question number : RC00458-01 ~ RC00458-05

In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the exhortations of business journalists and academics to move their companies toward long-term, collaborative "strategic partnerships" with their external business partners (e.g., suppliers). The experts' advice comes as a natural reaction to numerous studies conducted during the past decade that compared Japanese production and supply practices with those of the rest of the world. The link between the success of a certain well-known Japanese automaker and its effective management of its suppliers, for example, has led to an unquestioning belief within Western management circles in the value of strategic partnerships. Indeed, in the automobile sector all three United States manufacturers and most of their European competitors have launched programs to reduce their total number of suppliers and move toward having strategic partnerships with a few.

However, new research concerning supplier relationships in various industries demonstrates that the widespread assumption of Western managers and business consultants that Japanese firms manage their suppliers primarily through strategic partnerships is unjustified. Not only do Japanese firms appear to conduct a far smaller proportion of their business through strategic partnerships than is commonly believed, but they also make extensive use of "market-exchange" relationships, in which either party can turn to the marketplace and shift to different business partners at will, a practice usually associated with Western manufacturers.


RC00458-01
1) The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) examining economic factors that may have contributed to the success of certain Japanese companies
(B) discussing the relative merits of strategic partnerships as compared with those of market-exchange relationship
(C) challenging the validity of a widely held assumption about how Japanese firms operate
(D) explaining why Western companies have been slow to adopt a particular practice favored by Japanese companies
(E) pointing out certain differences between Japanese and Western supplier relationships



RC00458-02
2) According to the passage, the advice referred to in the highlighted text was a response to which of the following?

(A) A recent decrease in the number of available suppliers within the United States automobile industry
(B) A debate within Western management circles during the past decade regarding the value of strategic partnerships
(C) The success of certain European automobile manufacturers that have adopted strategic partnerships
(D) An increase in demand over the past decade for automobiles made by Western manufacturers
(E) Research comparing Japanese business practices with those of other nations



RC00458-03
3) The author mentions "the success of a certain well-known Japanese automaker" most probably in order to

(A) demonstrate some of the possible reasons for the success of a certain business practice
(B) cite a specific case that has convinced Western business experts of the value of a certain business practice
(C) describe specific steps taken by Western automakers that have enabled them to compete more successfully in a global market
(D) introduce a paradox about the effect of a certain business practice in Japan
(E) indicate the need for Western managers to change their relationships with their external business partners



4) Which of the following is most clearly an example of the practice referred to in the last sentence of the passage?

(A) A department store chain that employs a single buyer to procure all the small appliances to be sold in its stores
(B) An automobile manufacturer that has used the same supplier of a particular axle component for several years in a row
(C) A hospital that contracts only with union personnel to staff its nonmedical positions
(D) A municipal government that decides to cancel its contract with a waste disposal company and instead hire its own staff to perform that function
(E) A corporation that changes the food-service supplier for its corporate headquarters several times over a five-year period as part of a cost-cutting campaign.



RC00458-05
5) Which of the following is cited in the passage as evidence supporting the author's claim about what the new research referred to in line 20 demonstrates?

(A) The belief within Western management circles regarding the extent to which Japanese firms rely on strategic partnerships
(B) The surprising number of European and United States businesses that have strategic partnerships with their suppliers
(C) The response of Western automobile manufacturers to the advice that they adopt strategic partnerships with their suppliers
(D) The prevalence of “market-exchange” relationships between Japanese firms and their suppliers
(E) The success of a particular Japanese automobile manufacturer that favors strategic partnerships with its suppliers


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Originally posted by Lucky2783 on 24 Mar 2015, 01:54.
Last edited by bb on 24 Jul 2018, 18:58, edited 8 times in total.
Edited the question. Added Q5 from OG 2019.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2015, 11:34
Time taken: 6:20 mins.
All correct.
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New post 21 May 2017, 05:58
Good Passage. All correct in 4:30 minutes.

Let me know if anyone has any question. :)
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2017, 22:36
In the main idea question, the validity of the assumption is challenged only in the last paragraph. Although other options are not even related, I am not understanding how to tackle such type of questions. I had crossed this option as it only pertained to the 2nd paragraph.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 18:04
Quote:
1) The passage is primarily concerned with
A. examining economic factors that may have contributed to the success of certain Japanese companies
B. discussing the relative merits of strategic partnerships as compared with those of market-exchange relationship
C. challenging the validity of a widely held assumption about how Japanese firms operate
D. explaining why Western companies have been slow to adopt a particular practice favored by Japanese companies
E. pointing out certain differences between Japanese and Western supplier relationships

SR23 wrote:
In the main idea question, the validity of the assumption is challenged only in the last paragraph. Although other options are not even related, I am not understanding how to tackle such type of questions. I had crossed this option as it only pertained to the 2nd paragraph.

As discussed in the Ultimate RC Guide for Beginners, your first job when you read an RC passage is to understand the structure of the author’s overall argument and WHY the author has written each part of the passage.

After reading the first paragraph, stop and ask yourself WHY the author has written the paragraph. In this case, the author wants us to know that Western management circles (WMCs) have recently embraced strategic partnerships because of recent studies of Japanese production and supply practices.

After reading the second paragraph, again, stop and ask yourself WHY the author has written the paragraph. Here, the author tells us that new research (i.e. newer than the studies referred to in the first paragraph) suggests that WMCs have made an unjustified assumption.

So the first paragraph tells us how recent studies affected the thinking of WMCs, and the second paragraph tells us how their thinking may have been flawed.

Was the purpose of the passage simply to tell us about the recent studies and how they impacted WMCs? No... if that were the case, the second paragraph would not be there. Even though the unjustified assumption is only explained in the second paragraph, the first paragraph sets us up for the second paragraph. We need the first paragraph to explain the reasoning of the WMCs before we can be told why their reasoning is flawed (because of the unjustified assumption).

More importantly, if you can confidently eliminate four choices on a GMAT question, then you've found your answer!
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the &nbs [#permalink] 25 Oct 2017, 18:04
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